Thanksgiving is one of America’s greatest days of celebration - and great food! WEMU gets you in the mood with our annual Food Song Festival! Today we're celebrating the cooks, the diners and the delicacies from soup, salad and savory main courses to dessert and drinks. And – we have fun!
While Chicago may be America’s blues mecca, Detroiters are making a significant international impact in blues today, especially Seward Shah, better known as "Harmonica Shah”. Now on the illustrious Electro-Fi label from Toronto, Detroiter Harmonica Shah has not changed his gritty, earthy, raw and rocking urban blues style one iota. His songs reflect the deep heartbreak of living in present day Detroit while his classic harmonica licks reflects the birth of urban blues by Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood and Otis Spann. If you were ever tempted to think that real blues is a thing of the past, Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me by Harmonica Shah will banish that thought.
Harrison Kennedy’s new Electro-Fi CD, Soulscape is another masterpiece of basic blues with Detroit connections. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Harrison Kennedy gained national fame as a member of the Detroit R&B group, The Chairmen Of The Board. They recorded for the Holland-Dozier-Holland Invictus label with hits such as Give Me Just A Little More Time and Skin I’m In. Edward Holland gave Kennedy 75 dollars to buy a guitar which he used to write many hits for the group.
Harrison Kennedy is still a prolific songwriter but has added a variety of acoustic instruments to his blues arsenal. On Soulscape you will hear his proficiency on banjo, mandolin, harmonica, spoons, fife, percussion and bread pan! But, what will really touch you is his pliant voice and the poetry of his heartfelt lyrics. His songs examine the eternal human condition and our modern miseries. As with Havin’ Nothin Don’t Bother Me, by Harmonica Shah, Soulscape by Harrison Kennedy will satisfy your soul’s craving for serious blues and roots music.
Piano-bass-drums. How often have you heard a WEMU host repeat that instrumental combination? More than you can count. Yet, this trio format remains a source of endless variation and fascination. A prime example of the possibilities is the new CD The Endless Mysteries by pianist George Colligan.
You have heard WEMU hosts repeat Colligan’s name for twenty years. We discovered him in 1993 as the pianist for saxophonist Ron Holloway. His debut recording as a leader, Activism followed in 1996 on Steeplechase Records. Since then Colligan has created a body of work for solo piano and ensemble that deserves consideration for his compositions and technique.
Jeff Haas of the New Jazz Archive stops by the WEMU studios ahead of the 100th anniversary of his father, broadcasting legend, Karl Haas' birth. And to talk about a few new programs spearheaded by Jeff to advance the legacy of jazz to new generations.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:07 pm
Late last month I witnessed the most creative music festival I know, and I'm back with some astonishing new music discoveries. The first annual Mountain Oasis festival took place in a number of venues in Asheville, N.C. the weekend before Halloween. Asheville's a city that, much like Austin, Texas or Portland, Ore., lives up to that often-used slogan "Keep (insert city name here) Weird." As music pours into the streets, you'll see people dressed up as gnomes in illuminated hats, traveling in packs along with jellyfish, various monsters or even giant butterflies.
Ahead of his new CD release, Dave Sharp sits down with Linda Yohn in the WEMU studio to talk about about his upcoming 5:01 Jazz performance, the release of his new album Worlds, life as a musician, and more on this Halloween morning.
Listen to the full-length interview from 89.1 WEMU:
On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.
Linda Yohn sits down with Robert Hurst in the WEMU studio to talk about about his upcoming Detroit Jazz Festival performance, his new album BoB a Palindrome, life as a musician, and more on this morning's 89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn
Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.
Mr. B's Joybox Express is getting ready to bike the length of the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to New Orleans this fall, and WEMU is getting ready to follow the ride. Mark Braun, aka Mr. B., spoke with WEMU's David Fair about the project and what the Joybox entourage plans to do along the way.
While many media outlets are putting 2012 "to bed" for the next month, WEMU hosts continue to discover exciting new music to keep you grooving in 2013. One of our recent discoveries is "Mixology" by veteran jazz organist Chester "CT" Thompson.
Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, the current Chair of the Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation along with flugelhornist, Music School Professor, and program founder Ed Sarath sit down with Linda Yohn of WEMU to talk about 25 years and beyond of the Jazz and Contemplative Studies Programs at the University of Michigan.
When I opened the package containing "Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right" by pianist, singer and guitarist Julian Fauth, I knew that WEMU hosts would be happy to find this in the library. His 2005 CD, "Songs Of Vice And Sorrow" was a host and listener favorite even though Julian was then a relatively young and unknown performer. When I put the 2012 sound of Julian Fauth into the player, I was fully convinced. This disc is tailor-made for WEMU.
Buoyed by being selected as WEMU's blues fundraising premium, Robert Cray's newest CD, "Nothin' But Love" was the most played disc this past week on 89.1. Even if Cray's recording hadn't been chosen as a WEMU "thank-you gift", it would likely have risen to the top of our "Sweet Sixteen" by virtue of it's excellence.
In anticipation of her appearance at The Ark on October 11th, WEMU hosts featured the outstanding new CD "33 1/3" by the new "Queen of the Blues", Shemekia Copeland. Ms. Copeland actually comes from blues royalty -- her father is the legendary blues guitarist and composer, Johnny Clyde Copeland.
We knew it was just a matter of time, but the WEMU staff knew that "33 1/3" by Shemekia Copeland would eventually claim the top spot on our "Sweet 16". If any CD validates her standing as the successor to Koko Taylor as "Queen Of The Blues", this one surely does. She has emerged on a new label with new repertoire, but her commitment to true, deep blues is as strong as ever.
It was a bittersweet occasion when Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett's new CD "I Can Make That Happen" once again topped WEMU's "Sweet 16" of most-played CDs for the week. Just after the disc was released nationally, Johnnie passed away on August 4th due to cancer.
For the third week in a row, the local all-star Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo has topped WEMU's airplay list with "Casa Versailles". Their CD release concert will be this Saturday at Kerrytown Concert House. We have details about the show in the "events" and "datebook" section of this website. This group is just one example of the outstanding musicians who live and work in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the Detroit area. It is an honor to play their music on WEMU and support our fantastic music community.